SPORTS VENUE : Spicing Up The Sound - AvNetwork.com

SPORTS VENUE : Spicing Up The Sound

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A New Audio System Adds Flavor To Cajundome Events

LAFAYETTE, LA—The 12,086-seat Cajundome is Lafayette, LA’s premiere venue for regional and national concert tours, the Louisiana State Boys Basketball Tournament, and also serves as the home for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s men and women’s basketball teams. All that action is now matched with high-performance sound, thanks to a recent Electro-Voice XLC sound system installation by Louisiana-based Gulf Coast Sound (GCS) and consultants Acoustic Dimensions of Dallas, TX.

Having provided temporary EV sound reinforcement for the Cajundome on numerous occasions, Gulf Coast Sound’s familiarity with the venue played a large role in securing the contract for the new permanent sound system. Last spring, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette approached GCS owner Larry Habetz to discuss sound for their three-day commencement ceremonies. GCS brought

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At the core of the Cajundome’s new system are six central XLC hangs. This installation marks the first time that 907DVX boxes have been used over 127DVX boxes. EV designed a special FIR preset for the project. in an XLC 127DVX system with FIR-Drive to demonstrate the level of precise coverage and audio intelligibility available to the university.

“We used an XLC rig and six EV microphones to cover the orchestra for the commencement demo,” Habetz said, “and while we were still setting up, the orchestra began to warm up, so I pushed up the faders on our Midas Heritage mixing console, and my front of house engineer turned to me and said, ‘Where did you get that CD?’ I told him, ‘That’s the orchestra playing.’ The system sounded that good running flat!”

The system was also impressive in terms of intelligibility. Habetz added, “We also miked the keynote speaker— an older, soft-spoken gentleman— with two EV podium microphones, and we could clearly hear every word he said wherever we walked in the building. With 150 feet from floor to ceiling, the arena has about eight seconds of reverb. It’s a very challenging space to work with. The XLC has always been an inherently good-sounding box, but the addition of NetMax DSP/matrix controller with FIR-Drive has taken its coverage and clarity to a whole new level.”

The university had grown used to wrestling with their sound system every year for these events, thought it had never satisfied the orchestra conductor— until the EV system was brought in. “Hearing the XLC convinced director Greg Davis and operations manager Phil Ashurst that the time was right,” Habetz said. “The job went out for bid, as per state policy, but no one else could match the XLC’s sound quality.”

At the core of the Cajundome’s new system are six central XLC hangs. Four corner arrays each comprise six XLC 127DVX and six XLC 907DVX boxes (with 120- and 90- degree coverage patterns, respectively) with two XLC215 subs on top. This installation marks the first time that 907DVX boxes have been used over 127DVX boxes. EV designed a special FIR preset for these four corner hangs. Both the east and west main hangs comprise 14 XLC 127DVX with two XLC215s; and four FRX+940 loudspeakers are flown beneath the scoreboard, providing down-fill for court coverage.

Forty-eight P3000RL amplifiers power the system, and two NetMax N8000 system controllers handle all DSP, controlled via IRIS-Net software. A Midas Verona 240, a Klark Teknik Helix 9344E, and a Helix 9340E round out the system.

“The intelligibility of the XLC boxes and their ease of application are what set them apart,” Habetz said. “Whenever we do a show and hang an XLC rig, it’s so dynamic and intelligible out of the box that there’s hardly any need for EQ’ing. It’s easy to get what we’re listening for.”

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